Zimbabwe

(November 25 – December 10, 2011) All over the world, young women are taking to the streets to protest gender-based violence. According to the United Nations, up to 70% of all women experience gender-specific violence in their lifetime. In countries like Zimbabwe and Honduras where governments routinely crack down on democratic expression, women are taking a stand, often risking their lives to demand a halt to militarization, corruption, impunity and economic injustice that fuel violence against women.
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Women activists from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are reclaiming and using ICTs to amplify women’s voices for rights. From July 18th to 20th, JASS Southern Africa and Women’sNet hosted a Southern Africa Regional Feminist Tech Exchange (FTX) in Johannesburg with nine activists to build ICT skills and strategies to support their organizing.
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In April 2011, JASS Southern Africa and Musasa Project launched the Heart-Mind-Body initiative in Zimbabwe, gathering 26 women activists, each with diverse experiences and perspectives, united by a common anxiety: how to sustain themselves and their work in challenging and often violent environments. Putting self-care at the center of sustained women’s organizing, the circle was a space for reflection, relaxation, and dialogue. Over two days, women shared experiences of insecurity, trauma and violence and exchanged survival strategies.
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Looking back at JASS' Movement Building Initiative in Mesoamerica, Southeast Asia, and Southern Africa
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At a dynamic kick-off workshop late 2010, JASS gathered faith-based leaders living with HIV, lesbian activists, youth organizing for sexual and reproductive rights and feminist IT facilitators to forge a powerful collaboration to build movements for women’s rights throughout Southern Africa. This new partnership breaks through categories and “issue silos” – but to what end? A bold and comprehensive strategy fuels this initiative.
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Human rights advocates, including JASS partner Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), are deeply concerned by the latest anti-gay actions of newspapers and government officials----especially in Uganda, Malawi, and
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JASS gathered 22 Southern African women researchers, scholars, practitioners and activists to analyze and debate movement--‐building, women’s rights and organizing.
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Police raided the offices of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe on May 21 and arrested two people.
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This needs assessment is part of the JASS-Southern Africa Movement Building Initiative (MBI). The initiative is implemented in the African context where the combination of increasing poverty, failed states, corruption and in particular HIV and AIDS have had a particular impact on the lives of women.
As the 8 women in the planning meeting go to their rooms to retire for the night , I reflect on the day's proceedings. What have we achieved, what are we going to do, where are we going? These are the questions going through my mind. Looking back and reflecting on the conversation we had during the day of the different contexts of the region. The appointment of Jacob Zuma, the GNU in Zimbabwe, the creation of COZWHA+ in Zambia , recession in the USA and the impact of the OBAMA administration on the world.
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